Staff at a Kentucky prison are not only complicit in gang activity but earn a cut of the Aryan Brotherhood’s profits in exchange for allowing the white supremacist gang to operate inside the facility, an inmate claims in a new federal lawsuit.
Christopher Applegate, who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and is now an inmate at the Northpoint Training Center in Burgin, Kentucky, has filed suit against over a dozen prison officials, claiming they ignored his abuse at the hands of the Aryan Brotherhood.
The suit claims guards refused to relocate Applegate because “the Correctional Officers at Northpoint Training Center are complicit in aiding the Aryan Brotherhood and other gangs in return for a portion of the funds the gangs make dealing and in extorting other prisoners for protection,” as quoted by Courthouse News.
“The typical example of extorting an inmate for protection involves one gang assaulting a new inmate and the rival gang proposing protection from the other gang to the assaulted inmate,” the suit continues. “The gangs are complicit in organizing this scheme, either implicitly or explicitly. If the inmate does not agree to the proposal, the rival gang continues to assault the inmate. All money exchanges in the extortion and drug dealing schemes take place outside of the prison and involve relatives of one inmate sending money orders to the relative of another inmate.”
Applegate claims he turned over the names of several prisoners to guards and then – as both sex offenders and informants dwell at the bottom of the prison social order – he was subjected to other inmates throwing their feces and urine at him. Applegate says he was then re-assigned to a new cell, when all his possessions were taken.
“What likely prompted the removal from the cell, the talk with the lieutenant, and the subsequent urine and feces assault was that a correctional officer, at the command of Sergeant Wilson, went through Mr. Applegate’s legal file and found some of the photos for which Mr. Applegate was prosecuted,” the suit went on. “Mr. Applegate was written up for the possession of child pornography, was reclassified…and had to spend ninety days in solitary confinement, and lost his chance at parole and safety from violent assaults.”
The lawsuit asserts that Applegate was contacted by another inmate who “stated that he needed to contact his attorney and stated that he had been paid by a guard to assault him.”
Northpoint Training Center, opened in 1983 near Danville, Kentucky, houses over 1,200 inmates but has been home to multiple riots in recent years. WKYT in Lexington reported in 2010 that approximately 700 prisoners had to be temporarily relocated after a fire destroyed six buildings at the facility, including the kitchen, medical center, canteen and visitation area.
The Aryan Brotherhood is perhaps one of the most feared criminal organizations in the US because of the group’s sheer size. The gang began in the late 1960s and has since relied on drug-trafficking to expand its reach into many prisons throughout the US. While officials have not commented on whether the white supremacist gang is responsible for terrorizing inmates at the Northpoint Training Center, and Applegate, in particular, former members say such activity is far from unheard of.
“You have a list of 10 rules,” Mark Sullivan, a former member, told The Daily Beast when the Brotherhood was suspected in a series of killings earlier this year. “If you break any rules, you die…You can’t have any cracks. The No. 1 rule is never ever rat.”